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Cycling on a plaza/public space - difference to a pavement

salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
I don't ride on pavements and understand it is illegal to do so. But I do ride across a few Plazas - like Victoria Square and Centenary square in Brum. What is the status of these? Everyone seems to ride, it seems to be perfectly safe to do so and on some of them the crossings where they butt up against a road actually have a bike symbol as well as pedestrian symbol, although there is no cycle path. So they must be contemplating people riding across them mustn't they?

Is it legal to ride on them and if so, what makes a pavement a pavement and therefore different?

Posts

  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Don't know about truly public ones but a lot of them are actually (technically) private property with public right of way enforced as part of the planning permission (or whatever you'd call it) granted when they were built. A lot of them belong to, say, an office block that faces onto the square or whatever it is.

    Certainly that's the case with my office block. I found out about it when I was looking into the law around taking photographs in public places. Annoyingly, for the purposes of photography, it's classed as private property.
  • sirmysirmy Posts: 67
    If it looks like the unsegregated sign on this link ten you should be alright

    http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/transportstreets/cycling/Roadsigns.htm
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    As long as you punch out a kid on a skateboard you should be okay.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Unless its public highway or marked for cycles then you're not 'allowed' (that is its a criminal offence) to cycle on it, in fact the only wheeled devices allowed are for the disabled (that's right legally pushchairs/prams are not allowed either!).

    Simon
  • gadgetsgadgets Posts: 100
    can I ride where the bicycle police ride?
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  • nationnation Posts: 609
    edited August 2009
    gadgets wrote:
    can I ride where the bicycle police ride?

    This is generally what I do.

    There's also a "walking and cycling" map available from the council that says you're allowed to cycle on a lot of, but not all of the pedestrianised areas. My route takes me through a couple of them, and I know they're OK.

    EDIT: I just dug the map out again, Victoria Square and Chamberlain Square are apparently OK, Centenary square apparently isn't, although there's a "cycle route" through it marked on the map that I've never noticed. I've also just realised that apparently I shouldn't be riding on the tiny section of Temple Street between New Street and Stephenson Street (The rest of Temple street is OK, as is New Street) so looks like I'll have to come off for that 10 metres or so, given that it seems like there's no legal way to get from the North side of New street to the South side without joining one of the Queensways (multi-lane, fast traffic, no pavement or shoulder, all the junctions raised up with steep climbs up to them - not planning on that).
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The Police are exempt from certain (most!) laws while in the pursuance of their duties, so just because they are cycling there, doesn't mean you can!

    Simon
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    Most town centres which are pedestrianised have Traffic Restriction Orders placed on them which state what type of traffic is permitted ie delivery vehicles at certain time etc. Here they allow pedestrians only and there are signs saying 'Cyclists Dismount' around the edge - if you ride and get caught it will cost you 30 quid but other towns have different arrangements - local council issues the orders and should be able to tell you if bikes are allowed
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    tardington wrote:
    As long as you punch out a kid on a skateboard you should be okay.

    Not helping!! :D
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Most town centres which are pedestrianised have Traffic Restriction Orders placed on them
    Traffic Regulation Order actually, document that legalises an restriction on use, parking, no buses, no entry's one way, bus lane etc etc etc public documents that must be made available for viewing at the local council. Most are now available electronically on request.

    Simon
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Most town centres which are pedestrianised have Traffic Restriction Orders placed on them
    Traffic Regulation Order actually, document that legalises any restriction on use, parking, no buses, no entry's one way, bus lane etc etc etc public documents that must be made available for viewing at the local council. Most are now available electronically on request.

    Simon
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    I ride through victoria square, I've followed cars through there too so I think it's ok. I wouldn't try it when the christmas market is in though, thats just asking for trouble. :lol:
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  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    prawny wrote:
    I ride through victoria square, I've followed cars through there too so I think it's ok. I wouldn't try it when the christmas market is in though, thats just asking for trouble. :lol:

    never seen a car on victoria square? Saw a Typhoon and Harrier there last year though! According to the map mentioned by the chap above - link here: http://cycle.help2travel.co.uk/Document ... =0&D=0&S=0

    victoria square should be walked - poo. Also, centenary square is apparently alright to ride around on the far side from the road and therefore in with all the peds - seems a bit pointless when you can ride just inside the railings alongside the road and it is practically always deserted there. Still, best to stay legal I guess.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Unless its public highway or marked for cycles then you're not 'allowed' (that is its a criminal offence) to cycle on it, in fact the only wheeled devices allowed are for the disabled (that's right legally pushchairs/prams are not allowed either!).

    Simon

    I can't imagine that road traffic legislation would be drafted to exclude pushchairs from anywhere that pedestrians could go, as you're suggesting that they would also be banned from the footpath?
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    I may be imagining this but isnt the law on access to footpaths worded in such a way as to suggest that technically you should not be walking on them with a dog or pushchair or a bike for that matter?
  • sirmysirmy Posts: 67
    edited August 2009
    Pushchairs and dogs are what are termed "usual accompaniments", that is something which a person may be expected to take with them when going for a walk, ypu wouldn't normally take a bike for a walk

    It's also not unusual for a council to put up cyclepath signs without making an order in which case the path could be considered to have been deemed a cyclepath (if the regulations allow for such a thing) in the same way as a right of way can be created by deemed dedication or could be regarded as permissive, the landowner ( the council) by putting up the sign has given permission for the path to be used on a bike
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    chuckcork wrote:
    Unless its public highway or marked for cycles then you're not 'allowed' (that is its a criminal offence) to cycle on it, in fact the only wheeled devices allowed are for the disabled (that's right legally pushchairs/prams are not allowed either!).

    Simon

    I can't imagine that road traffic legislation would be drafted to exclude pushchairs from anywhere that pedestrians could go, as you're suggesting that they would also be banned from the footpath?

    There was a case (reported somewhere on this website) where someone had been arrested for not carrying his bike on a footpath - he was pushing it.

    IIRC, the judge threw the case out.
  • tjwoodtjwood Posts: 328
    sirmy wrote:
    Pushchairs and dogs are what are termed "usual accompaniments", that is something which a person may be expected to take with them when going for a walk, ypu wouldn't normally take a bike for a walk

    Correct in respect of a footpath, i.e. the sort of public right of way marked with short dashed pink/green lines on an OS 1:50k/1:25k map. The pavement alongside a road is called a "footway", not a footpath, and is different (you are allowed to push a bike along a footway).
  • sirmysirmy Posts: 67
    tjwood wrote:
    sirmy wrote:
    Pushchairs and dogs are what are termed "usual accompaniments", that is something which a person may be expected to take with them when going for a walk, ypu wouldn't normally take a bike for a walk

    Correct in respect of a footpath, i.e. the sort of public right of way marked with short dashed pink/green lines on an OS 1:50k/1:25k map. The pavement alongside a road is called a "footway", not a footpath, and is different (you are allowed to push a bike along a footway).

    The "usual accompaniments" argument would also apply to footways and footpaths, paths not running along side a road but not recorded on the definitive map. Cycles are regarded as mechanically propelled vehicles and are therefore not allowed (until the NERC act proof of use by cyclists could give rise to a RUPP or BOAT rather than a bridleway) and should technically be pushed with their wheels in the carriageway
  • tjwoodtjwood Posts: 328
    Footways which run alongside a highway are different from footpaths, the "usual accompaniments" thing is irrelevant.

    See http://www.bikeforall.net/content/cycli ... he_law.php

    A bit of case law:
    Anyone pushing a bicycle is a "foot-passenger" (Crank v Brooks [1980] RTR 441) and is not "riding" it (Selby). In his judgment in the Court of Appeal in Crank v Brooks, Waller LJ said: "In my judgment a person who is walking across a pedestrian crossing pushing a bicycle, having started on the pavement on one side on her feet and not on the bicycle, and going across pushing the bicycle with both feet on the ground so to speak is clearly a 'foot passenger'. If for example she had been using it as a scooter by having one foot on the pedal and pushing herself along, she would not have been a 'foot passenger'. But the fact that she had the bicycle in her hand and was walking does not create any difference from a case where she is walking without a bicycle in her hand."
  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    sirmy wrote:
    It's also not unusual for a council to put up cyclepath signs without making an order in which case the path could be considered to have been deemed a cyclepath

    Would that cover the situation where a crossing has both ped and cycle signs, and the crossing ends on the plaza? If it envisages people cycling across at the crossing, they must surely be allowed to continue cycling on the plaza? (PS - on the other side of the road is just more plaza, no cycle path or anything, so it doesn't seem the plaza is the end of a designated cycleway or anything)
  • sirmysirmy Posts: 67
    tjwood wrote:
    Footways which run alongside a highway are different from footpaths, the "usual accompaniments" thing is irrelevant.

    See http://www.bikeforall.net/content/cycli ... he_law.php

    A bit of case law:
    Anyone pushing a bicycle is a "foot-passenger" (Crank v Brooks [1980] RTR 441) and is not "riding" it (Selby). In his judgment in the Court of Appeal in Crank v Brooks, Waller LJ said: "In my judgment a person who is walking across a pedestrian crossing pushing a bicycle, having started on the pavement on one side on her feet and not on the bicycle, and going across pushing the bicycle with both feet on the ground so to speak is clearly a 'foot passenger'. If for example she had been using it as a scooter by having one foot on the pedal and pushing herself along, she would not have been a 'foot passenger'. But the fact that she had the bicycle in her hand and was walking does not create any difference from a case where she is walking without a bicycle in her hand."

    Just saw that today myself, just goes to show you should question everything your told! Off to eat some humble pie etc
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The Highways act 1980 (http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.as ... Id=2198137) does indeed differentiate between footpaths (a highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, not being a footway) and footways (a way comprised in a highway which also comprises a carriageway, being a way over which the public have a right of way on foot only) as well as between footpaths and cycleways (telling?) in which there is a specific exemption from the 'foot only' for wheelchairs but nothing for prams/pushchairs or cycles and as Crank V Bookes was a crossing (so that patch of land a bicycle could be ridden on legally, all be it not conventionally across) its easily differentiated from a foot path or way, besides Crank V Brooks was almost certainly a case relating to whatever act preceeded the highways act 1980 (whcih would have been enacted later) which may render it all acedemic.

    Simon
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